This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Did your child catch up or stay slower to catch on?(18 Posts)
We've just been to my child's parents evening. She's five and her last one (a month after she started) was quite negative. She was struggling with routine etc. Then she went through a stage of not listening and still not grasping the routine.
After Christmas she was like a new person. They were happy. She was good. Her reading is coming on great at home. She is able to write birthday cards now if I spell things out. She loved the space term. Just overall doing good.
Parents evening was fairly positive. She took longer than average to pick up her phonics but now she's getting there. Then she said she still struggles with some things. She doesn't quite understand as easily as the other children.... Then she quickly said well not all children. Then I said is she getting extra help and she nodded and said but she sits with other kids so she's not the only one.
She told us to practice counting and writing her name. She can do both these things but when she's left by herself she doesn't seem to do it. So the teacher thinks she's struggling.
I'm fairly happy with what she's said. I know she's not going to be top of the class. I'm not sure if the other kids had better starts than my daughter. I did try and prepare her for school.... But there has always been children who need the extra support.
I just wanted to ask from people's experiences if your child caught up with the other children in year one or two or even older. Or is she likely to stay in the struggling group. The teacher said she remembers things really well in other ways. I guess she's just not focused enough to do things with out an adults encouragement.
You can improve how well she does in school by doing work with her at home. Keep it fun, work when she want to work and stop when she wants to stop. IME there is a correlation between how well a child does in school and how much they are taught at home.
If it is just that she is not working at the same level at school, just keep on with the things you are doing at home and let her settle more into school life. She is only in reception and it is more important that she is happy at this stage.
You need to up her language ability
Read to her, listen to audio stories, watch different types of tv shows, talk about halves and quarters, read the time properly rather than 5 mins to bed say it’s 5 to 8 or whatever.
Talk and sing songs - it makes a huge difference to there understanding.
Savemefromthis4 I have been in your position when my children were at primary school, both were on struggling tables and at one point I was told that I have to accept that both my children were 'just not academic'. I continued to follow my gut, I bought them educational games, took them to museums and watched and read books about history, geography space, all sciences. This was because I wanted to spark their imagination and interest. Turns out they were both just bored with the rigid structure in primary school and by KS3/4 they loved high school and both gained GCSEs beyond their predictive grades. All children learn at their own pace, it's keeping them interested that's the key...( and off Xbox's and social media.... good luck with that)
The other posts are excellent and they are great ideas for your daughter.
Yes my dd2 improves massively. There are some great educational apps and phonics and maths games you can get on line. Dd2 is flying now and My dd3 3.5 loves going on the Homer app you can set it to age appropriate learning so your dd would be able to use it
My DS was very babyish and behind in reception. He just could not get his numbers, talked in a baby voice and didn't seem anywhere near as 'with it' as his peers. After realising this around mid reception I got him reading to me every night (hard work) and doing a maths app (maths 3-5 I think it was called). He did catch up and got greater depth across the board in his year 2 SATS (without any SATS practice at home with us). I think the earlier you start taking action the better as it can help stop them being pigeon holed as being a child who struggles, which they can pick up on and it can turn into a self fulfilling prophecy. He's still ahead in maths and now does doodle maths at home.
I know you asked for experiences not advice, but I would suggest eliminating any physical reasons for the lack of engagement. Eye tests, hearing tests etc.
Don’t assume you’d notice these things at home. I have a hearing impediment that wasn’t picked up until high school. You get used to assembling the clues and piecing what people say back together and don’t realise it’s not the norm. It is incredibly tiring through and you’re always lagging slightly behind what is being said. Noisy environments like classrooms are the worst.
Vision is another one to be double checked. I didn’t realise until last year how much scope their is for opticians to interpret eye test results. My DD was always a very slow and reluctant reader. She had regular eye tests which came back at 0.25 in one eye and 0.5 in the other with the recommendation that she didn’t need glasses. We were just about to start dyslexia investigations when I decided to go back for a second opinion. They measured her as needing a prescription of 1.25 and 1.5 and said she should be wearing glasses for all reading and close work. 6 months on and she’s reading for pleasure now.
It’s probably neither of those things, but it’s a good idea to make sure they are ruled out.
We have had a reception struggler and a reception high flyer. I’m not sure it’s as simple as staying slow or catching up. It’s not quite as linear as that.
Our struggler is still behind his class in certain areas and does well in others but more importantly he is actually much more enquiring than his sisters, just not in the way the national curriculum values.
I would temper doing too much ‘teaching’ at home. We were sent home with loads of tools and apps to help him. He sniffed it out immediately and actually all it did was place a massive burden of responsibility on us and put his barriers up. Instead we have concentrated on doing things all of us enjoy and play to his strengths. The most important thing you can do is to make sure her self esteem is high. If she is confident and is encouraged to ask questions then you have done your bit. I think coffeeandtv is spot on. It’s about offering experiences for them to engage, which can’t be offered within the confines of our education system.
Our high flyer is pretty average now. She flew because she was happy to tow the party line and is naturally amenable, not because she was advanced.
From your examples it sounds like your DD is actually doing well. She just isn’t motivated by school to demonstrate her abilities.
I just wanted to ask from people's experiences if your child caught up with the other children in year one or two or even older.
I did extra support work at home so it's hard to say.
However by year 3 I think it's easier to say - as many summer borns and slower off the mark are caught up or rapidly catching up.
I was told one of mine wasn't academic -they were struggling with glue ear with intermittent hearing problems and I think some short term meomory issues they've done better and better as the classrooms have got more formal.
By year 3 they'd move out of reading support and were ahead in maths - thanks to mathsfactor - the biggest problem was keeping them motivated and trying till that point rather than switch off it's not for me- it's hard I can't do it so will stop trying which-we did start to see. That child is doing reall well in secondary now.
She's had her eyes and ears checked this year. All was ok. Since then her confidence has grown.
We got her a tablet for her birthday. Amazon fire. Any suggestions for apps?
We read every night. She seems good when she reads her school books to me. I'll try and get her reading more.
She just seems to lack the attention span when she hasn't got an adult with her.
Thanks for all your replies. They are appreciated
DS1 was a bit like your daughter - tho a bit younger in the year.
He is soon to leave primary school, and is very much a mixed bag. Verbally, he is as bright as a button. Get him to write it down, and he looks behind. Maths and science he is ahead. I'm hoping for exceeds expectations in maths. Hoping he can meet expectations in English, but below is a very real possibility - I'm fully expecting him to score close to 0 on the spelling paper.
He has also been diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia - explaining the difference between verbal and written work.
I was "written off" at primary - so much so my parents moved me to a different school. When I was allowed to specialise, and play to my strengths I started flying. But that took to A level to really start shining. Beautiful handwriting, drawing pretty pictures and writing creative stories weren't my thing!
Yep - we had the conversation at first reception parents evening that DD2 was not on track to achieve age related expectations. I did comment to the class teacher that I thought she'd got her wrong and mentally chalked her down as "sweet but not quite with it" but that actually that hid a very sharp and occasionally bone idle little mind inside... end of that year she hit expectations and she's since been greater depth for reading (don't think she will be this year) and holding her own academically. Last year she had a bit of a crapper year as the teacher was shit - but she has absolutely flown this year, even considering she now has a dyspraxia diagnosis so writing is physically hard for her.
Honestly, don't worry so much if she is getting there, and you recognise her progress.
Yes, I think there are children who struggles all the way, but there are many kids who don't get it early but who excels later too. And Most will be doing ok later on.
If you are taking interest and helping her, you will know when you might need to really worry, like if she isn't getting phonics, or not getting numbers at all.
Most of children who weren't into learning early primary were doing totally fine by ks2 ime.
My son was 18 months behind at the first sats (think year 1?) and could not write much in year 2, beyond his name.
He is now in college with predicted As and likes learning
He was just a slow developer, he had a sort of catch-up spurt in y5, and then again in y9
I look at pictures of him age 6 and think We expected so much of him and yet he was so small
Support your DD but remain positive, kids really DO develop at different rates and the YK system with lots of formal learning at a young age does simply not suit all kids.
My son also did not suit phonics it times tables it any rote learning.
Best advice I ever got was to not focus on what he was bad at, but instead find their strengths, their interests, their “spark” and run with that instead.
Sorry my autocorrect is not my friend!